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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter December 2, 2014

The Foundations and Funding of Basic Income as Primary Income

  • Jean-Marie Monnier EMAIL logo and Carlo Vercellone
From the journal Basic Income Studies


The thesis of cognitive capitalism leads to a radical reform of the distribution of wealth. A basic primary income (BPI) scheme is the keystone of such reform. This paper shows that the justification of a BPI can also be founded on a re-examination of the notion of productive labor linked to the rise of the cognitive dimension of labor. This conception of basic income as primary income completes ethical and social justifications of BI. Our argumentation is structured in two connected parts. After an overview of cognitive capitalism, the first part is dedicated to the main foundations of our proposal of BPI. The second part concerns the articulation between our proposal for BPI and the modalities of funding one. We explain how the question of funding BPI is closely linked to its theoretical justifications.


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This article has been written in the framework of the D-CENT European Project. The authors gratefully acknowledge useful comments by two anonymous referees, and useful advices by editor. However, the authors assume total responsibility for its content.

Published Online: 2014-12-2
Published in Print: 2014-12-1

©2014 by De Gruyter

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